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The Warsaw Voice » Other » June 3, 2009
Portugal in Poland
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Contacts, Communication, Consultancy
June 3, 2009   
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Pedro Pereira da Silva, chairman of the Polish-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce, talks to Ewa Hancock.

What does the PPCC do?
The Polish-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce was established in March last year as a result of a joint effort by a group of 22 Portuguese and Polish companies. We have a very small structure as a chamber. We have 55 members and aim to increase membership to 100 by the end of this year. From the very beginning the chamber focused on promoting and enhancing bilateral economic relations between Poland and Portugal, which explains why we had to create a professional structure to ensure proper support from the chamber. The fact that we built this project from scratch allowed us to implement and adapt the chamber's structure to the needs of both Polish and Portuguese companies. The PPCC has three official languages, Polish, Portuguese and English, which we decided was necessary to have a better internal organization and improve communication between our Polish and Portuguese members and other institutions with which we cooperate. The team is very dynamic and is extremely motivated in performing the day-to-day activities of the chamber.

What kind of services do you provide for your members in Poland?
The PPCC's activities focus on three main areas: Contacts and Events; Communica¬tion; and Consultancy.

As regards the first area, the aim is to give our members access to a great variety of local and foreign partners, clients, Polish and Portuguese politicians as well as other expatriates. In order to achieve this the PPCC organizes and promotes events and meetings that are important in the process of facilitating and developing business. These include seminars, conferences, business mixers, and business breakfasts.

Communication is one of the most important areas of our activities. Through our website, newsletter, publications, annual membership directory and events, the PPCC aims to deliver top quality information to its members and strengthen ties between Polish and Portuguese business organizations. We are working to further develop our range of services. At the moment, we can help not only our members, but also other interested companies in areas such market research, compiling lists of potential business partners, translation and interpreting services, organization of trade missions, and various kinds of promotional activities. What is more, we provide access to our CV database and can help companies find employees who correspond with the requested profile. Our members are also eligible for many special prices and discounts offered by hotels, restaurants, and car rental companies in the biggest cities in Poland and Portugal.

The PPCC is a recognized institution with the capacity to provide our members with access to decision makers, who are usually not available for a single company. The chamber is also active in the International Group of Chambers of Commerce (IGCC), which can be a good vehicle for PPCC members to enhance dialogue with Polish authorities. Apart from that, the PPCC has created working groups among its members, called Committees, which are a platform for debate on the most interesting topics involving a variety of industries and disciplines. These working groups also try to pursue some networking activities whenever necessary.

How does the chamber help Portuguese investors?
Every day we receive inquiries from Portuguese companies about the Polish market. There is a lot of interest in not only exports but also direct investment in Poland.

The PPCC offers exporting companies services such as contact with potential business partners in Poland and helps establish contacts between Portuguese and Polish companies. Sometimes language can be a barrier, but our staff is qualified and trained to provide top quality service. We also prepare and organize trade missions to Poland.

The PPCC is very active in promoting Poland as an attractive destination for Portuguese companies, many of which decide to invest here. Over the past 12 months we have supported and participated in several events in Portugal and we plan to keep doing that in the future because we believe that there is still room and potential for more Portuguese investment in Poland.

What social activities do you provide to your members?
We are aware of the need to create opportunities to develop valuable business networking opportunities. We organize and promote events that enable our members to socialize and establish new contacts. The PPCC's agenda is adapted to the needs of our members. Our aim is to organize high quality events that are usually attended by experts in economics, fiscal and labor law, taxes and so on. For example, at our last business breakfast dedicated to the current economic situation and trends, we could enjoy a lecture by and discussion with Prof. Witold Or³owski, chief economic advisor to PricewaterhouseCoopers Polska.

The chamber also organizes business mixers, conferences and seminars. One of them was held during the Portuguese president's visit to Poland in September last year.

Several times a year our members have the opportunity to meet the Portuguese ambassador at roundtable talks and discuss, in a less formal atmosphere, their investment experience in Poland, challenges and opportunities.

PPCC events and initiatives are often a great opportunity for not only member companies, but also other expatriates who would like to find out more about the chamber and benefit from our network of contacts.
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